Ask for what you need

Sometimes we’re afraid to ask for what we want from people and relationships and friendships because we’re afraid the other person will leave if we do. But part of being true to yourself is being willing to speak what’s on your heart in an honest and bold way, regardless of how the other person reacts. I’m not suggesting you make unreasonable demands and project unrealistic expectations onto everyone you know…I’m suggesting that you tactfully and clearly and lovingly convey your needs and wants to the people in your life who matter, because if they truly love you, they’re going to want to show up for you. And if they’re not currently showing up for you, they need to know about it. All relationships that are not two-way streets are dead end roads. If you’re working your butt off to stay in someone’s life who never makes an effort to stay in yours, eventually you’re going to grow resentful and frustrated and even bitter about it, and the relationship will self-destruct anyway. So isn’t it better to just honestly communicate to someone how you feel and give them a chance to respond in kind?

What (Most) Women Really Want

What (Most) Women Really Want

In my humble opinion…it’s not a big mystery.

We want to be pursued. Not endlessly asked to “hang out.” (And especially not asked to “hang out” at 3:00 am.) We don’t want to be treated like “one of the guys.” We want to be your LADY.

And we want to be treated like it. We want a little time invested into the plans. And I said time, not money. We don’t care if it’s dinner at Olive Garden and a Redbox rental, as long as you put a little thought and effort into it.

Please pick us up and come to the door. When you honk the horn to alert us you’re there, we feel undervalued or like we’re responding to a cattle call. And we aren’t cattle. We’re ladies.

Please open the car door, and the door to the restaurant. Bonus points if you pull out our chair. And EXTRA bonus points if you stand, old school-style, when we excuse ourselves to go to the restroom.

We want you to pay for dinner. At least the first few times. We don’t feel entitled and we won’t just assume that you’re going to. In fact, we’ll offer to pay half…but it gives our heart that extra flutter when you won’t hear of it. We love to be reminded that chivalry is still very much alive.

We want to be respected. We want to laugh. We want to be flirted with. We love “good morning” and “good night” texts. (But we don’t love when texts always take the place of calls.) We like to talk on the phone late into the night, knowing we have to be up in three hours but not caring because we love talking to you THAT much. We like when you notice that we got our hair cut or lost five pounds.  We like to be winked at. We love intelligent banter and witty sparring.

We like when you like our friends. We love when you like our family.

When you ask us how our day was, we love it when you actually LISTEN.

We want you to have goals and dreams and ambition. You don’t have to have tons of money or drive a fancy car or shower us with extravagant gifts…but we want you to be passionate and driven to achieve something. We want to know that you’re willing to challenge yourself and reach for something greater. Even if you don’t catch it. (We’ll be there even if you don’t catch it).

We really love it when you come up behind us and put your arms around us when we’re sad, or stressed, or having a bad day.

We want you to have your own space to grow and become and dream. We want you to respect our space to grow and become and dream. We don’t need to be with you every single second of every single day. We want there to be healthy spaces in our togetherness.

(For a lot of us): We want you to love God more than you love us. We want you to seek Him more than you seek us. We want you to pray with us, and worship next to us in church, and remind us of how much God loves us when we’ve forgotten.

We want you to buy us little gifts, just because. A single rose. A surprise Frappuccino from Starbucks.

That scarf we’ve been eyeballing for a week in the window of the boutique down the street.

We want you to be our best friend, our safe haven, our calm in the storm, a shoulder to cry on, the killer of the spiders, the assembler of bookshelves when the only instructions that came with them are in Greek, the defender of our honor when we come under attack from the world or our boss or the mean person on the Internet.

We want you to love us even when we’re not being very lovable (because we’ll do the same for you). We want you to be willing to fight it out or talk it out or work it out instead of going to bed angry. We want you to be honest when we ask you if these pants make us look fat (okay…no we don’t).

This is what (most) women really want.

It really is as simple…and as complicated…as that.

Ladies, do you agree? And fellas…care to weigh in?  Sound off in the comments below!

Three Lies Single People Need to Stop Telling Ourselves

Three Lies Single People Need to Stop Telling Ourselves

Someone asked me the other day what I think are the biggest challenges that single people face. And in my opinion, the answer is simple: It’s the lies we tell ourselves (yes, I’m talking to myself here, too. See this for the proof). The constant broken record we have on repeat in our minds, all day long, as we search for a reasonable explanation for our seemingly endless singleness. Here are three lies we tell ourselves that are particularly hurtful and damaging to our spirits, our peace of mind, and our self-esteem:

• Thinking there’s something wrong with us because we’re still single. 

• There’s nothing wrong with us because we are still single. It is what it is. There’s no deep explanation here or hidden secret. We’re not concealing a hump on our backs or cloven hooves or a third eye (okay, well, hopefully we’re not. But even if we are, dang it, we’re still worthy of love!) Singleness is not a curse thrust upon us. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s not an insult or a weapon to be hurled at us, as our society unfortunately often does (particularly when it comes to social media. You wouldn’t believe how many times people have disagreed with something I’ve tweeted or posted and have retaliated with “Oh, so THAT’S why you’re still single!” – in an effort to hurt me by using the area of my life in which they think I am the most vulnerable.) And you know what? Singleness IS an area of my life where I am vulnerable, because I don’t understand it. Not being coupled up at age 24 makes no sense to me, and sometimes it causes me great distress and worry and anxiety to consider the fact that I might never be coupled up. BUT…not being coupled up doesn’t mean that I am lacking, or deficient, or romantically challenged. It simply means that I haven’t found my person. (Or my “lobster,” as Phoebe Buffay would say.) We have to stop blaming ourselves and carrying around the weight of feeling broken and screwed up simply because we haven’t yet found love. It’s simply not true. Certainly we all have room for growth and are all flawed and imperfect in our own unique ways, but that is true for everyone who walks this planet…not just us single folks.

• Thinking that our lives don’t serve a purpose unless we’re in a relationship.

• We matter. We MATTER. We have precious gifts to offer to the world that have nothing whatsoever to do with our relationship status. We might be SINGLE but we are NOT “singular” in any way. We are multi-dimensional, unique, talented, purposeful, meaningful people with hugely important lives and destinies. A relationship can certainly bring us great happiness and fulfillment and even new purpose and meaning…but we are here to bring those very things to the world around us, just as we are. And sometimes our unattached, unencumbered single lives can have even MORE purpose than our future married lives, because we are able to wholeheartedly and without distraction pursue our passions, our calling, our dreams. Our greater purpose. A relationship can someday ADD to that, but it cannot and will not ever define or replace your greater purpose. There is something you and only you are meant to do with your life that isn’t dependent upon a relationship to make it happen. Like I always say: You don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life.

• Thinking that we have to wait around for a relationship to realize our destiny.

• It’s time to stop waiting and start LIVING. Yes, two people coming together is a beautiful thing…but so is one person standing boldly in their purpose. You don’t have to merely sit idly by and wait for the day that a prince comes riding up on his white horse and the two of you gallop off into the sunset of your destiny. Your destiny is in the here and NOW. God wants to do something powerful with you and for you and through you NOW. Today. This moment. Right now. I don’t know what it is, I can’t possibly tell you what your destiny on this planet is, but I CAN tell you that had I not made the choice to follow my passion and chase my dreams and pour my heart and soul into making the world around me a better place right where I was…you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now. I had to get past my singleness and decide that I had things to do with my life and I didn’t have time to wait around on a man to come along for me to do them. I hope with all my heart that someday someone will come along and join me in my journey, but I’m not going to hit the Pause button on my life until that happens. And you shouldn’t either. Do all the things you want to do with your life RIGHT NOW. Stop waiting. Because the truth is, a woman who creates a full, joyful, meaningful life for herself is a lot more appealing than a woman who waits around on a man to do it for her.

What are the things you tell yourself about your singleness that are holding you back from being the person you were created to be? Sound off in the comments below…

Women Always Know

Women Always Know

It’s kind of funny…the things guys think we don’t know.

Like when they fall off. Stop texting as much. Stop calling as much. Slowly begin to pull back. Even if it’s ever so slowly…a little at a time. We know. Even if we don’t want to admit it to ourselves, we know what it means.

It can be even a slight withdrawal of time and attention, and we feel it. As women, nothing gets by us. We’ve been around this block a few times before. We know that you’re not just “having a busy day.” We know that you didn’t leave your phone at home. We know it’s not just simply that you have your mind on other things. We KNOW.

We know there’s someone else now on the receiving end of those texts and calls. We know your time and attention is going somewhere, just not to us. We know when we’re being juggled. We know when we’re being ghosted on. We know when the energy shifts from us to someone else, no matter how subtly. We know when you’ve lost interest. We KNOW.

It’s kind of funny…the things guys think we don’t know.

We know. We always know. And we might let you slide out of our DM’s as easily as you slid in. We might look the other way or let it go or choose not to let you know that we know.

We might even let you off the hook for choosing to disappear instead of just telling us you were going.

But we know. Trust that.

We’re women. Nothing gets by us.

Especially a man on his way out the door.

When Someone Ghost

When Someone Ghost

We’ve all experienced the inevitable ghosting by a guy. You know, you’re cruising along, things are going well, you’ve been texting every day, maybe even hung out a time or two…when all of a sudden, POOF. He vanishes, into thin air and into the night, leaving you wondering what you did wrong or what could have happened to scare him away and sometimes even checking obituaries because only death itself is a suitable excuse for him literally falling off the face of the earth. (C’mon. We’ve all been there.)

But what about when a friend ghosts?

It seems in this day and age of endless forms of communication, never has it been easier for people, and yes, even friends…to excommunicate themselves from our lives. I recently had this happen to me. A friend who I considered very near and dear to my life, someone I talked to almost daily and hung out with weekly and even traveled with, just one day disappeared from my life. I’ve been in this place in my life where I don’t want to do all the work anymore when it comes to friendships or relationships. I don’t want to feel like I’m making all the effort, doing all the inviting, always reaching out and asking and planning and coordinating. It’s exhausting. And it leaves you wondering “if I stop doing all of the work, would this person still be in my life?” And if the answer to that question is no, then was the relationship ever really that strong to begin with? I guess I got my answer with this particular friendship, because when I stopped being the initiator, the relationship completely fizzled. And that hurts. And left me wondering why I wasn’t more important to this person’s life the way they were to mine. But going through the upheaval that I’ve been through over this past year – all the changes and struggles and growth and BECOMING – it’s taught me more than a little bit about letting go. I don’t want to hold on to people who don’t want and don’t actively choose to be in my life, friends or otherwise. And I might have lost a few friends over the past year as a result of no longer being willing to carry the entire friendship on my back, but was it really a loss? I think some losses are really gains in that we gain back time we were investing in the wrong people and energy spent worrying about why they never seemed to quite reciprocate our efforts and even parts of ourselves that we lost in the frantic efforts to stay in someone’s life who wasn’t doing anything to keep us in theirs.

The really crazy thing is that my adventures in online dating with Bumble are teaching me a lot about letting go, too. The hard truth that I’ve learned through this process is that some guys are simply going to disappear with no explanation and there’s nothing I can do about it and no point in trying to understand it. Sometimes I’m going to think a meet-up or a date went really well and then I’m never going to hear from the guy again. It’s not going to always make sense and I’m not going to always get an answer or closure. That’s just life.

And so it goes with all people who ghost. A pretty wise woman once said: “Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did. Let it go.” (In case you were wondering, that pretty wise woman was me, haha!) So whether it’s a friendship or a relationship…here are a few tips for surviving a ghosting:

• Ask yourself: Did I do anything wrong here? Is there perhaps something that happened that I need to own up to and apologize for? Did I alienate this person in any way? If so, do what you need to do to make it right. Sometimes when we get really honest with ourselves, we realize that our own actions played a role, however, minor, in the other person’s retreat. HOWEVER, I will say this. When someone ghosts and completely vanishes from your life without a trace, typically there was nothing you did to cause it and nothing you could have done to stop it.

• Make peace with the fact that you may never know why they disappeared, stopped texting, stopped calling, and never talked to you again. Maybe they were going through something in their own lives that caused them to isolate themselves. Maybe another friend or relationship came along and distracted them. Maybe they were intimidated by you and didn’t see a place for themselves in your life. Or maybe it was none of the above or all of the above. The point is…you’ll likely never know. So you can beat your head repeatedly into a wall trying to figure out the un-figure-out-able, or you can simply let go and move on with your life.

• Realize that as horrible as this ghosting feels, this person’s retreat from your life does not have to completely devastate you. You have other options, both in love and friendship. Look around at the amazing people already in your life who DO make an effort to be there. Hey! Now you have more time to spend with them. And if you are in need of new people in your life, love and/or friendship might just be a swipe away. Give Bumble a try! Even if you’re not looking for love, the Bumble BFF function is awesome for making new friends. It’s HARD to make friends as an adult, and BFF takes all the work right out of it. I met one of my best friends on Bumble BFF, and if she’s the only thing Bumble ever brings into my life, it will be enough. You have to be willing to put yourself out there a little and try new things if you want to meet new people. Nothing worthwhile in life was ever achieved by staying safe inside your comfort zone!

At the end of the day, just know that a friend or a romantic interest ghosting says nothing about you and everything about them. If they couldn’t even take the time to explain why they needed to exit stage left of your life, they’re not worthy of being in your life. Don’t hold a place for them. Move on to all the people and relationships and friendships that are rewarding and life-giving and always reciprocal. They are out there, I promise. You just might have to swipe right or left a few times to find them. 

5 Unique Ways To Connect

5 Unique Ways To Connect

Unique Ways to Connect : Top 5 reasons why it’s important to find different ways to connect with your partner

Unique ways to connect: The importance of finding different ways to sustain your connection. If you are reading this, you are probably in a relationship and are struggling with finding unique ways to connect with each other. You probably struggle at times with

the difficulty of sustaining a genuine spark year after year. You may be frustrated with trying to find unique date night ideas, or struggle with coming up with new content to chat about over dinner. Maybe you and your partner feel so disconnected that you are contemplating if the spark is even possible to come back.

The “spark” is complex; it involves sexual chemistry, intellectual connection, emotional sensitivity, fun and spontaneity, friendship, companionship, etc, etc. When the spark starts to fizzle, it’s normal for us to feel scared, frustrated and even discouraged. We expect a lot of our partner/relationship and sometimes we can get overwhelmed when we aren’t feeling close.

Sometimes we expect our relationship’s spark and connection to sustain in the same way it developed when we first started dating. Of course, it would be ideal to have the honeymoon stage sustain throughout our entire relationship; but the reality is, that doesn’t exist. Nothing is permanent, but change. We have to detach from the expectation that “happiness” should be easy, or that our relationships shouldn’t require work when the spark starts to fizzle. Our spark is similar to a real flame. It burns out and needs to be reignited once in a while.

So why is it important to reignite the spark and find unique ways to connect with our partner year after year? Why is it important to establish unique ways to connect, even when we feel discouraged, resentful, frustrated, rejected and/or uncomfortable?

5 Important Reasons to Find Unique Ways to Connect with Your Partner:

Why it’s Important to Find Unique Ways to Connect #1: It revives your relationship on all levels.

Why is this important? Long term relationships get bored or stagnate easily. It’s common to get stuck in the day-to-day stressors and pressures, that we often forget to nurture our relationship in the same way we used to when we were first getting to know each other.

Finding unique ways to connect can help you both get inspired to flirt, let go of day-to-day pressures and give yourselves permission to prioritize your relationship. Here’s a tip: Make it a priority to commit to one day per week and/or one hour daily that there are no external interruptions. Not even television. Make it a point to cook dinner together while you chat, listen to music, sip on wine. Go for a walk in a random neighborhood and make note of the houses and scenery. This can also be as simple as eating a meal together without your phones!

Why it’s Important to Find Unique Ways to Connect #2: It helps you fall in love all over again.

Falling in love is something we often grieve when we are in a long term relationship. We often miss the butterflies, the mystery and overall experience of learning about another person and merging our lives together. “Falling in love” was such a beautiful time in your relationship! When you find unique ways to connect, you may not even realize that this can promote the same chemical reaction (oxytocin, i.e. “the love hormone”) and can also help you feel similarly to when you initially started falling in love. Why is this important? It solidifies our bond, helps us feel reconnected and rejuvenates our overall relationship. Here’s a tip: tell each other three things daily that you are grateful for that your partner did, does, is, etc. Verbally affirming to each other the things you appreciate allow your partner to feel validated and appreciated, which helps both of you get out of the rut of taking advantage of each other.

Why it is Important to Find Unique Ways to Connect #3: It gives you permission to be vulnerable with each other.

You may not even realize this, but regardless of how long you have been together, you are still working on building safety and vulnerability in your relationship. Maybe the initial vulnerable hurdle was saying you loved each other; then it maybe lead to an occasional toot in bed; then the vulnerability got really heavy when one of you experienced a loss of a job or a family member. We are constantly growing and changing; life is constantly moving. Each new day, month and year activates new challenges and new experiences. Vulnerability is the key to any successful relationship and when we exercise our vulnerable selves within the relationship, we are actually building more and more trust within each other. This is incredibly bonding and important to continue to nurture throughout your relationship. Here’s a tip: Do something once a month, once a quarter or season that scares you or is something you have never done before. This can be an activity that you do together (sky diving, improv comedy, karaoke, sex shop); this can also be a difficult conversation (about intimacy, sex, etc). Try to continue to push yourselves to strengthen vulnerability.

Why it is Important to Find Unique Ways to Connect #4: It forces you both the learn more about each other.

You may think you know everything about each other, but that assumption is because you got lazy and forgot to keep exploring. Your partner is constantly evolving and there is something about

them that you probably don’t really know, understand and/or spend a lot of time being curious about. Learning more about each other helps you both continue to be curious.

Curiosity is sexy and builds desire! Here’s a tip: Go to counseling even though you may not be “fighting” or “in a bad place” and have the therapist prompt questions for both of you to process and explore together. Counseling does not have to be a place only intended to “fix” your relationship; in fact, it can be a safe place for both of you to enhance your relationship and prevent future issues.

Why it is Important to Find Unique Ways to Connect #5: It reinforces the reason(s) you fell in love in the first place.

Let’s face it, we naturally take life and our relationships for granted from time to time. We lose sight of what’s really important and meaningful. We often forget the reasons why we choose our person and often fall into the trap of comparisons or doubt when our relationship isn’t going as smoothy as we hope. Here’s a tip: Reminisce about your “firsts,” go to the place you had your first vacation, date, adventure. Verbalize to each other how you felt when you both fell in “like” and in love with each other. Another idea, try check out The Modern Love Box that offers communication activities and luxury promotes to inspire and enhance connection.

Living with diabetes

Living with diabetes

So, as a type 2 diabetic, I have blood work drawn every 6 months. This time around, the one test for overall blood sugar control, HbA1C, was up to 22mg. This ain’t a great number. In fact, it’s higher than it’s been in since I got diagnosed last year-higher than when I weighed enough to be classified as almost obese.

Why am I telling you this? To me, it’s a reminder of a few things.

You can’t take anything at face value.

Anyone that sees me on the street today will probably not make a note of it. I’m pretty generic looking. Average height and average weight- I’m an average looking mom. I exercise sometimes🙈. I write down what foods I eat and try to stick to a balanced diet.

No one can see I have a condition that I fight every day. There are no outward signs, unless someone sees me test insulin, that I have to monitor what I eat, what I do and take my tablets every few hours of every single day.

There are tons of people out there like me. We all have things going on that others don’t have a clue about. It’s a reminder to pass on a smile every chance we get. It’s something we can do to lighten whatever burden the other person may be carrying.

You can always do better.

I look healthy and I feel fantastic. I went through some stuff last year that made me afraid I would be in pain for the rest of my life. I worked hard and improved. Despite my apparent health now, I’m reminded by this blood work that I can still do better.

Diabetic Warriors (my favorite term) can get numb to the daily grind and we need to be reminded to pick up our game. This doesn’t apply to just us Warriors, though. We all need reminders.

We all need new inspiration to keep our goals in sight.

A corollary to the fact we can do better is our need to get help from others to do so. For me, I should reach out to my health care team to help me gain tighter control of my diabetes. This goes for everyone: getting help from others helps us succeed. It can make the process more enjoyable, as well.

Enjoy your days.

I could get depressed about my numbers or ticked that I have this stupid condition in the first place. I choose not to, though. I choose to find ways I can enjoy getting and staying in shape. I choose to spend time each day doing things and being with people who fill me with joy and purpose.

I’m not rich with money but I am rich with the satisfaction of who and what I am.💕

To me, that’s a very good life.😊